The United States government have said that from March 1, validity period for visitors’ visas for Nigerians wishing to travel temporarily to the U.S for business or tourism would be increased from 24 to 60 months.
The U.S Embassy in Abuja disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
The Embassy stated that the visa validity extension would allow Nigerians use the visa for 60 months to make short trips to the United States for tourism or business purposes before having to renew it.
“Effective March 1, 2023, the U.S. Mission will increase visitor visa validity from 24 months to 60 months for Nigerians who want to enter the United States temporarily for business and/or tourism.
“The visa validity extension allows Nigerians to use the visa for 60 months to make short trips to the United States for tourism or business purposes before having to renew their visa.
“The visa application fee, currently USD160, will not increase as a result of the increased visa validity,” the statement read in part.
Increasing visa validity is one of several initiatives taken by the United States to reduce visa appointment wait times in Nigeria.
“The U.S. Mission continues to offer No-Interview Visa Renewals to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Appointments for No-Interview Visa Renewals are readily available,” the Embassy said.
On the No-Interview Visa Renewal policy the Embassy stated that: “You may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview if your application is for a B1/B2, F, M, J (academic only), H, L, or C1/D (combined only) visa, and you meet each of the following criteria:
“You are physically present in Nigeria, your previous visa was issued in Nigeria, your previous visa is in the same classification as your current application, your previous visa was a full-validity, multiple-entry visa.
“Your previous visa expired within the last 48 months or will expire in the next 3 months from the date of application.
“You have all your passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa and the passport with the most recent visa.
“You have never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offence in the United States, even if you later received a waiver or pardon.
“You have never worked without authorisation or remained beyond your permitted time in the United States.
“Please see our website at https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ for further information.
“If you are qualified based on the above criteria, visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to start your application.
“Please note that processing times for the programme are expected to be up to two months and you will not be able to retrieve your passport during that time.
“Each applicant must individually meet the criteria; minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own,” the Embassy further stated.
The Embassy also explained that for applicants on a life-or-death emergency, they may request an expedited, in-person inter-vie.
It, however, added that to accommodate “No-Interview Visa Renewals”, appointments will be very limited.
The Embassy also noted that business travel, conferences, weddings, and graduations are not considered emergencies.
“If you have an emergency and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng or +234-1-227-8955 to request an emergency appointment.
“Third parties unaffiliated with U.S. Embassy Abuja and Consulate General Lagos may seek to take advantage of various visa services to target visa applicants with fraudulent offers or claims.
“Applicants should fill out their own forms and make their appointments themselves via the official websites.
“As future opportunities for Interview Waiver appointments become available, they will be communicated via our website.
“Remember to rely on information only from genuine sources: https://travel.state.gov, https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/, and https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng.
“Avoid becoming the victim of a scam,” the Embassy advised. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)